Ann & Peter

in New Zealand

NZ Links

Our travels

Ngā mihi o te tau hou (Happy New Year)

Firstly Ann apologises to everyone for telling them about our November news twice. She had a senior moment and totally forgot she’d already emailed the previous week. Mind you only one person emailed back to say she’d sent the news twice. So we have some very polite friends, or no-one reads her emails! 

Jaz and Maxie are fine – they had their annual check-ups along with injections and up the nose squirts etc. The vet, Alison, loves treating the pair of them because they’re so happy to see her and they always behave no matter what she does to them (so many of our friends with cats and dogs have a nightmare time going to the vets). 

We’ve heard all about the weather in the UK – it’s regularly reported on TV here. We actually had our first rains the second week of December, although it’s still hot and humid, at last our water tank is now full again. So many people ended up having to buy water in by the tanker load – and it’s expensive that way. Our temperatures have been in the mid to high 20’s for weeks, with humidity levels at 80-100% – not conducive to gardening or walking – or doggies with fur coats. Jaz and Maxie have been trying for weeks to find the zippers on their fur coats – without success, bless them!

Ann is now famous (ha ha). She sent in a recipe to the NZ Gardener magazine for zucchini bread for their 2011 diary – and they accepted it and printed it! The quote in the diary is ‘this delicious loaf doesn’t need jam or honey – just a light spread of butter, says Pirongia gardener Ann Mudie. During the zucchini season she freezes spare loaves so there’s always one on hand when visitors pop in unexpectedly’. All Ann actually wrote when she sent in the recipe was that it freezes well. Amazing how someone can expand on such a small amount of information! Still she got a free 2011 diary out of it.

We had a lovely week when Peter’s niece, Helen, and her boyfriend, Andy came to visit (they’re almost six months into a round the world trip). Peter took a couple of days off and they went to see some kiwi birds....
.....glow worms and black water rafting!
Helen and Andy also went to Rotorua and Andy was chosen to be the chief – Helen was very pleased!
They also had a surfing lesson at Raglan before going on their travels down to Christchurch - stopping off for a parachute jump at Taupo on the way!
The same week-end Helen and Andy arrived we had our annual bonsai week-end workshop with Nobu Kajiwara. As usual it was a great two days full of information, practical work and fun.

Ann became a domestic goddess in the days leading up to Christmas. Not only did she do all the housework, but also made fudge, shortbread, almond frills, two different kinds of soup and pumpkin seed treats for the dogs (phew)!

Christmas Eve saw Ann calling out the water treatment system service guy as the alarm suddenly went off. He arrived about 4pm and found that our water filter was totally blocked. Luckily he was able to clean it (eventually – it was really bad) and has shown us how to check and clean it ourselves in between services. Ann has now changed her washing powder to an eco friendly one.

Jaz was obviously very excited about seeing Santa because she barked long and loud Christmas Eve – right up until 1am - and got Ann up five times! We have no idea what really spooked her but she calmed down once we’d moved her bed back into the laundry from the garage.

Christmas Day was great. The girls had a bath, new collars and a toy each. Peter had a frying pan, cookbook and a couple of novels (which will take him all of 48 hours to read). Ann had books, a Susan Boyle CD and a special edition bonsai pot from Walsall Ceramics. Now she has to find a very special tree to put in it. We had our usual quiet day with a walk at lunch time, then Peter finished mowing the paddock and front of the section, whilst Ann did some more baking – almond frills, shortbread and fudge (more domestic goddess).

Peter made some bread from a recipe in his new cookbook - not bad for a first attempt at baking.

Boxing Day saw us off to the races at the golf course with jean and Tim! For the first time in six years we came away $15.50 up – normally we lose every year.

Then we had a BBQ with Ann trying three times to make mayonnaise – without success (domestic goddess is no more).

The remainder of the month/year was spent gardening - we have lots of lawn to mow and millions (we exaggerate not) of weeds to pull up.  Peter was on call all over the holiday and had several phone calls and emails. He also had to go into work a few times too, to sort out problems. He has decided that he's not offering to be on call next year.

New Years Eve was spent celebrating with friends – we all managed to stay awake to 1am - then crashed.

News from home

Ann’s Dad is having a great time in Colorado with John, Allison and the kids. Peter’s Mum and Dad had a very quiet Christmas stuck indoors because of the cold, ice and snow. Allison has just retired from the US Air Force - at the grand old age of 47. But she's only got a few weeks to relax before starting her new job - no rest for the wicked!





Back to top of page